Comfort Food

This has been a tough month and I really wanted to make a chicken pot pie pretty much from scratch, not using a “cream of” condensed soup. Yet I didn’t want a recipe that took all afternoon. After searching the internet and printing several out, I settled on one that was “tested by Redbook”. It called for non-fat everything and since I wanted the comfort of "fat"  I changed that. It also made the recipe in 5 (6 oz.) ramekins. Too fussy, so that changed too and used Trader Joe’s refrigerator Buttermilk Biscuits. Please see “Assorted Observations” below.

1 c. half and half
1 c. chicken broth
3 T. all-purpose flour
1 t. poultry seasoning
2 c. roasted, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 package 10 oz. frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
1/8 c. pieces very thinly sliced onion
1 t. salt
Pepper to taste
Cooking spray
1 can (approx. 7.5 oz) refrigerator buttermilk or country-style biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 F. In a medium saucepan, whisk half and half, broth, flour and poultry seasoning until combined. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer whisking frequently, 4 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, mixed vegetables, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Lightly coat a 9” x 9” or similar size pan with cooking spray. Take chicken mixture and pour into pan. It will fill pan about 1” or so full.  After opening biscuit tube, take each biscuit an gently stretch it till it’s 1/4” thick vs. the original 1/2” thick. Set each on top of chicken mixture so top is mostly covered. It’s not necessary to cover completely; some small openings are needed to let steam escape.

Bake 12 to 20 minutes (depending on your oven and size pan used) until biscuits are golden and filling bubbly. Use a toothpick to check if the biscuits are done. Insert into one of the biscuits. If it comes out clean the dish is done. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Assorted observations:
I did not have chicken stock in the pantry so I made a cup with hot water and Wyler’s Chicken Granules (which I prefer to any other kind of bouillon). Because of that I eliminated any extra salt suggested in the original the recipe. It worked just fine in my book. The bottom of the biscuits was a bit doughy but I liked this. I imagine you could test cooking the dish more using 5 minute intervals, making sure the topping doesn’t burn. Just remember, that each time you open the oven the temperature drops and has to heat back up. Also, I imagine if you use an 8” x 8” pan the cooking time will be a little longer because the mixture will fill the pan a bit higher. One big “no-no”:  I made the chicken mixture the night before and refrigerated it in the covered saucepan till the next afternoon. I took it out and reheated it in a 225 F oven for about 20-30 minutes. The sauce mixture was a lovely thick consistency before refrigeration and heating. After it was thin and soupy. I tried to heat it back to gravy consistency on the stovetop but it only thickened a wee bit. So my advice is to make it all the same day that you cook it. (Note: I followed my own advice and it worked great the second time around.) Regardless, the end result was delicious and hit the "comfort" spot perfectly. Yummmm!



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